My most vivid memory of maple syrup is from when I was in grade school. Growing up in a household that proudly boasted a bedraggled original printing of the Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook allowed me to, at a very early age, discern the versatility of maple syrup – and the pleasure of it as well. Growing up in the same house as my mother only served to profoundly reinforce this particular philosophy.Read More
Recently I showed up at a friend’s house for dinner, and by the look on her husband’s face when he opened the door, I knew something was very wrong. Actually, allow me to rephrase that. Something was very wrong with me. He stammered a quick hello, smiled (laughed, if we’re being honest here) and let me in. I handed him the box I was carrying and rather self-consciously removed my hat, coat and scarf, peeking out from under my bangs at his still slightly dubious smirk. In my head I took imaginary stock of what he could be gawking at so malevolently.
Did I have paint in my hair? Something huge and disgusting stuck in my teeth? Only half of my makeup done? All were distinct possibilities.
Finally I squared my shoulders, took a deep breath and asked him what the heck was the matter. He smiled (laughed…see above) and turned to his wife who was coming down the hall at that moment. She smiled at me, warmly, and turned me towards the hall mirror. I went white. Seriously – I had turned white in the few scant hours since I’d last looked in the mirror. Somehow the icing sugar from the pastries I had made that afternoon had ended up all over me. And I uh, forgot to look in the mirror before rushing out the door, the guilty-party-pastries boxed up for dessert.
Of course I laughed it off and managed to clean myself up in their hall bathroom before joining the rest of the dinner party. It (I) became a running joke that evening – everyone coming up with their own names for the light and airy pastries that had caused all the ruckus.Read More
I walked through the door and was immediately struck by the scent of fresh waffle cones. Never a bad way to start an afternoon, I figured. This, only my second visit to Menchie’s, was definitely going to be interesting, as I was there for something called a “Blogurtfest”. It had been hashtagged all over Twitter in recent days, and I had been invited. I couldn’t say no – I mean who ever says no to frozen yogurt experimentation…? For Serious. So I went in. I smelled the waffles, I saw the toppings, I checked out the flavours. With my senses properly piqued I continued on and found the small-ish group I had been expecting on Saturday afternoon for the first official Blogurtfest.Read More
Every summer, for about as long as I can remember, my parents have planted tomato plants in their backyard garden. That’s what Victoria Day is for — as long as it’s not pouring rain or freezing cold (both good possibilities up here in the great white north) — planting the vegetable and herb gardens.
On the south side of the yard, where the sun shines the strongest and where the soil has grown vegetables and herbs for more than forty years…that’s where they go. I would make the trip to the nursery and pick out each plant as though it might be a piece of beautiful jewelry, carrying them home in the plastic trays, watching them bounce up and down on the seat next to me. The smell was always what I loved most in the beginning — the smell of freshly growing tomato plants is something beautiful and simple…it’s the smell of sweet and savory combined in one.
Inspiration strikes in mysterious ways – many things wouldn’t exist without it. For me, when it comes to cooking, inspiration is doubly important because sometimes, frankly, I have no idea what to do. Many nights, inspiration is non-existent at 5pm when I get home from work and I’m tired and hungry. Picking Leith up at school, getting hats and mittens and boots on and getting him home is a trial in itself. At these times that bag of digestive cookies really looks quite a lot like dinner…maybe with an orange juice chaser for a vegetable/fruit course.Read More
I used to be dreadful with accepting change. Having a child, I am now a roller-with-the-puncher, a flyer-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal; the parent of an utterly astounding kinder. I always knew having a child would change my life. I knew that having a child would probably change the way I ate and the way I cooked – for myself as well as for him. I knew I would be the type of A-personality mum who made her child’s food with both gratification and determination…it’s purely who I am. Remember: I’m not good with change.Read More